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One of the best ways to find out how your business is doing and which areas of your business need improving is through customer feedback. You may realize this but wonder how you can get customers to share their thoughts with you. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this and you can use more than one. For example, you can make follow-up calls after sales or service. You can also make customer comment forms available.
Businesses commonly have mixed feelings about follow-up calls. Many convince themselves that most people do not want to be bothered. People tend to be annoyed by telemarketing. However, many people do not mind receiving calls that pertain to their perceptions about the customer service they received. A lot of people are actually impressed by such measures.
There are a couple of tips you can consider to prevent your follow-up calls from annoying your customers. It is very important that you are considerate about the times you call. Avoid early hours, late hours, and holidays. Also, limit the amount of time your call will take. Do not burden people with too many questions, but allow them adequate time if they initiate further conversations.
Comment cards can be effective customer feedback tools. If you want to provide your customers with a convenient way to have their say, you should make these items readily available. Many comment cards ask specific questions, and this is fine. It is very important, however, to make sure there is a space provided for people to write about things you have not considered.
You may not be able to wait for customers to take the initiative to get comment cards. In many cases, it is more effective to present them to your customers. When you do this, you communicate two important points. First, you inform your customers that these items exist, because even if you think you have them in a convenient location, many people may overlook them. Second, presenting comment cards lets your customers know you are giving them the opportunity to have their thoughts and concerns recognized.
Online surveys can also be effective customer feedback tools. These may work better than comment cards. A few clicks of the mouse are not usually perceived by customers as too much to ask and many people enjoy filling out online surveys.
Immediate customer interaction can also provide you with valuable information. Consider how restaurants employ hostesses to immediately interact with customers, which helps shape customers’ experiences within the first few minutes. If the same immediate contact is made when customers conclude their transactions, you can get valuable customer feedback. In these instances, you get to find out what your customers feel before their thoughts are tainted by discussions with others or time to re-evaluate their experiences.
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